CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) — The Canfield Fair started in 1846 and Struthers United Methodist Church started in 1886.
For nearly 60 years, they had a common bond — but this is the second year it was broken.
The church’s food trailer is sitting in the church parking lot, missing from its customary position near The Rock.
It’s been a regular at the fair, serving tasty sloppy joes since 1962.
“You guys had a camera shot off the [grandstand] looking down and we could see our void space. And I was like, ‘I can’t watch this.’ It’s hard,” said pastor Doug Theobald.
The church ran into a problem covering the 70-plus shifts during the fair. Some were also nervous for health reasons.
The trailer was a big part of the church’s outreach.
“We’re not professional concessionaires. So we put our huge outlay and count on our return. So we would generally double what we would put out,” Theobald said.
Those thousands of dollars would allow it to partner with th echurch on Volunteers in Mission.
The youth wall at the church shows some of the places they’ve been, hit by natural disasters or economic downturn.
One recent trip was to North Carolina, where the two sisters had been praying for help with a home filled with mold after a hurricane.
“We actually think we’re the ones coming down to do the work and yet they did the work to us, showing us what faith and strength can be,” Theobald said.
Returning to the fair next year may be a possibility. Theobald and the church know people miss the food – and the members miss providing hope, help and healing to people in desperate situations.
“It is crushing to not be able to go out and do that kind of work in those people’s homes and lives,” Theobald said.
The church considered using more plastic in the trailer windows to ease health concerns, but ultimately there weren’t enough workers.